These two birds are the latest additions to my life list, taking it to 262:
- 261: White Wagtail (Lake Joondalup, WA, 23/03/2012);
- 262: Red-browed Finch (Carmel, WA, 24/03/2012).
Seeing a White Wagtail was an unexpected surprise as I had previously dipped on one (perhaps the same bird) at Lake Gwelup in January. I didn’t think lightning would strike twice as the White Wagtail is a fairly rare vagrant to Australia (let alone Perth). I happened to be travelling near Lake Joondalup when I heard that Martin and John had relocated it and after a short detour (probably about 20 minutes) I had seen the bird (many thanks to Wayne Merritt for finding the bird the day before).
The Red-browed Finch was a slightly different story. I had known of the existence of an introduced but self-sustaining population in the hills of Perth for a number of years. Despite living very close by for the last three years I had never gotten the chance (or organised the chance) to find them. So Martin, Alan, John and myself convened a meeting of The Big Twits at the Melville Nursery Rose Gardens in Carmel and spent a few hours talking and walking amongst the roses looking for finches. After about an hour of searching I was rewarded with great views of a Red-browed Finch. Other notable birds at the Rose Gardens were Red-eared Firetails, Nankeen Night-herons and Western Spinebills.